Bengaluru NavaNirmana Party (BNP), a political party with the vision to make Bengaluru a model city of the world, was launched this Sunday, September 22nd. The ideology of the party is good grassroots governance. It will focus only on the municipal elections in the Greater Bengaluru Area, primarily BBMP.
BNP’s motto is “nanna nagara, nanna hemme, nanna jawabdari – My City! My Pride! My Responsibility!”
The party’s stated objective is sustainable, inclusive and balanced development of Bengaluru. Founded by a few passionate Bengalureans, BNP’s members include citizens who have worked tirelessly at the grassroots over the past few years. Through various platforms, these citizens have brought about changes in the fields of solid waste management, animal welfare, water conservation, wastewater management, clean energy, good roads, education, healthcare etc.
“Bengaluru has been witnessing rapid deterioration on multiple fronts – water crisis, bad roads, poor garbage management, stinking storm water drains, frothing lakes etc. And there does not seem to be any end in sight. The existing parties and elected representatives have completely failed us,” said N S Mukunda, Governing Council Member of BNP.
While the BBMP’s annual budget comes to around Rs 10,000 crore, this money is never spent on works in Bengaluru. This is because decisions related to Bengaluru, including on the spending of funds, is made by the state government, Mukunda said. Greater decentralisation and public participation is needed to change this scenario, he opined.
Prathap Rao, another Governing Council Member of BNP, said at the launch, “A number of citizens have been fighting for the cause of Bengaluru through various platforms, which have yielded good results over the past few years. However, these solutions are at the local level and most problems of the city still remain unaddressed. It is time for the citizens of Bengaluru to unite and bring about the change that we desire and deserve!”
“Through BNP, we aim to bring about a change by fighting the system from the inside, rather than from the outside. We believe that local governance is all about execution, which has so far been grossly lacking, due to a variety of factors. BNP commits to keeping the Bengaluru citizen at the core and work towards delivering basic amenities like pothole-free roads, garbage-free localities, sewage-free storm water drains, working street lights and so on,” said Srikanth Narasimhan, Governing Council Member of BNP.
BNP commits itself to represent the interests of every stakeholder of Bengaluru – be it animals, trees, lakes, the environment, or the citizens, without discrimination on the basis of caste, gender, language etc.
The face of the party is the most important person in Bengaluru today – the Bengaluru citizen – whether living in a slum or an apartment, whether working as domestic help or as an IT professional, whether a young student or an elderly citizen!
With a team having experience in different facets, BNP will create manifestos for various functions of BBMP as well as ward-level manifestos. These will set a benchmark on what needs to be done for the city. The party seeks to contest all 198 wards in the BBMP elections, and hopes for the support of the Bengaluru citizen who is yearning for a change in the city’s governance.
Narasimhan stressed on the importance of doing things the right way, “Let’s not take shortcuts. If it takes time, let it take time.” He said the team was in for the long haul, “We put in out best efforts for 2020 [BBMP election], and we will continue to fight for 2025.”
Structure of the party
The party will have:
- A Governing Council
- An Advisory Council
- An Executive Council
- Ward-level leadership
The Governing Council of 15 members was pre-determined by the organisers and announced at the event. They are:
- R. Balasubramanian: Ex-president of Bangalore Apartments Federation (BAF) and IIM-A alumnus with over 40 years of corporate experience
- Prathap Bhimasena Rao: Former fighter pilot with the Indian Air Force and Founder of PotHole Raja, a venture that has fixed thousands of potholes in Bengaluru
- Vijendra Babu: Entrepreneur employing thousands of semi-skilled and unskilled workers
- Mom Banerjee: Performing artist and Founder of Samridhdhi Trust that works in bridge schooling for out-of-school children
- Sridhar Ramanujam: Communications professional, IIM-B alumnus and author
- Dr Ananth Kodavasal: PhD in chemical engineering and leading expert in sewage treatment plants
- Subbu Hegde: Retired CFO, founder of a non-profit for skill development of the underprivileged. President of the Federation of Villa Community Associations of Bangalore (FOVCAB), active in lake issues
- Siddharth Raja: Lawyer and former member of Bangalore Tourism Advisory Committee of the state government
- Dr Hariharan Chandrasekaran: Green builder, leading a water energy nexus program with the Bengaluru Central University
- Harini Raghavan: Founder of the advocacy group Citizens for Animal Birth Control, which works with BBMP
- Prabhakar Rajendran: Activist working for the rights of Dalits and slum dwellers
- N S Mukunda: Serial entrepreneur, and co-founder of Citizens’ Action Forum (CAF)
- Srikanth Narasimhan: IIM-B alumnus and co-founder of Bangalore Apartments’ Federation (BAF), a group representing around three lakh citizens
- Srinivasa N A, member of Whitefield Rising and ward committee member of Hagaduru ward
- Priya Chetty Rajagopal (Co-opted member/invitee to the GC): Co-founder of the movement Citizens for Bengaluru, works on diversity, animal welfare and heritage conservation
Find more details of the Governing Council members here.
[This article is based on a BNP press release and inputs from Meera K]